Michael Paulus, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®

Financial Advisor

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Michael Paulus, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®

Financial Advisor

Every success story starts with a plan.

Your financial opportunity is greater than it’s ever been, but with all that possibility brings more responsibility and greater risks for making mistakes.

I help high-achieving professionals organize their list of financial priorities into one comprehensive plan. Then, my team and I make sure the elements of the plan happen promptly, efficiently, and with as little legwork from you as possible.

Your time is precious. Recover your most valuable and non-renewable resource with our get-stuff-done financial planning process. 


Focused Planning Process →

Comprehensive Services →

Committed Team of Specialists →

Start Your Financial Journey



North Star Medical DivisionThe American College LogoCertified Financial Planner

The North Star Medical Division is a group of advisors within North Star Resource Group who specialize in providing financial services to medical professionals at every step in their career. Michael has his CLU® and ChFC® designations from the American College, earned in 2013 and 2014 respectively. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals have attained the standard of excellence in financial planning by meeting education, experience, and ethical standards, and as part of their certification, they have made a commitment to CFP Board. Michael received his CFP® designation in 2014.

The Financial Planning Process

This isn’t one more thing on your to-do list. It’s money and time freedom rolled up in one.

As you reach a high level in your career, your time becomes more valuable, but the demands put on your time also increase.

You need a plan to align and organize your financial decisions. Even more, you need a process for how and when the plan will happen, with the guidance, support, and accountability to get things done.

Zoom conversation icon

It all starts with a conversation.

It’s important to find an advisor you feel comfortable talking to and who offers the services you need.

Before we jump into your financial plan, we start with short introductory call to learn if our financial planning process is a good fit for what you hope to accomplish.

Get Your Time Back

Step 1: Discover

The Discovery meeting is about establishing the foundation. First, we uncover your core values and goals. Then, we create a document checklist to start the process of organizing all your financial documents and accounts in one place.

The result of this meeting is a clear picture of where you are and where you intend to go.

Step 2: Plan

Once the Discovery stage is complete, we will design a financial plan personalized to you and your goals.

From paying off student loans to entering retirement, and everything in between, this plan is comprehensive to what you want to accomplish in your finances and when you want to hit each goal.

Services Included

Step 3: Execute

At this point, we set you up with mindfully timed meetings to tackle the core phases of your plan.

Each meeting has a different topic, but a similar format:

First, we talk through how the subject fits into your plan and your values.

Next, I provide education on the topic and a few recommendations on how you can proceed. We make sure you understand your options as well as the benefits and implications of each before moving on. Education followed by implementation, always.

Finally, we will make any decisions that need to be made and set a course of action between now and the next session.

We make sure clients walk away from every meeting knowing what their manageable next step is, and if you forget before our next scheduled call, you can count on us to remind you.

Meet the Team

Step 4: Review

As time moves on and life changes, we will hold review meetings to modify your plan as needed.

Throughout the year, we monitor and track your progress, which we review at these semi-annual meetings. Other agenda items can include refreshing your retirement analysis and projection, discussing upcoming important decisions, and reviewing your investment and risk strategies.

Occasionally, a big life event will merit more than a course correction. If a time comes that a new financial plan is warranted, we will run another Discovery session and start the process over with your more sophisticated needs in mind.

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Financial Planning Services

Start Your Financial Journey



Debt management iconDebt management

Student loans are a significant and stressful piece of the financial equation for young professionals, especially those in the medical field.

We help you navigate the repayment process with confidence.

First, we balance your current payments against your monthly income, expenses, and savings goals. Then, we look at your interest rate and loan duration to project the long-term impact of your repayment options.

The result is a debt repayment strategy tailored to you—manageable for today and strategic for your future.



Paying for college iconSaving for college

With education costs on the rise, many families are looking for options for saving for this future expense in a flexible, tax-advantaged way.

However, funding education has much more to do with values than with avenues.

Through the planning process, we will uncover your answers to common education funding questions and create action steps to take throughout your child’s life to realize your goals.

Topics we’ll cover:

  • What stages of education are you interested in investing in for your children? (Daycare and preschool, private K-12, public to private college options, graduate degrees, etc.)
  • What percentage of your child’s college education will you fund? Do you plan to use grants or scholarships to cover costs?
  • How important is flexibility in the investment account you choose? Will you require funds to be used on education?



Estate planning iconEstate planning*

What kind of legacy do you intend to leave?

Everyone has a legacy and thus should have a plan for their assets after they pass.

When we take inventory of your accounts and policies as well as identify your money values in your financial plan, we lay the groundwork for a future estate planning conversation.

Then, our team can facilitate the estate planning process, collaborating with your attorney and tax professionals or providing referrals for specialists in our network.



Insurance iconRisk management

Life, disability, and property & casualty insurance

With the proper insurance in place, you can protect your income and assets from risks that can potentially derail your goals.

With our planning-first approach, we review your current policies for redundancies and vulnerabilities. We keep your financial goals top-of-mind as we establish the risk management pillar of your plan.

If the Discovery process reveals any necessary changes, we facilitate conversations with our independent North Star agents to shop top carriers and recommend a few policies that work well for you.



Investing iconInvesting

Part of our planning process is to learn more about your investing style: Your expectations, risk tolerance, and experience. We spend time on education, paying special attention to mindset and behavior.

Once this foundation is set, we can present you with personalized, tax-efficient* portfolio options as well as a reallocation schedule that leaves you confident in your potential.



Charts and graphs iconRetirement strategies

When you have a clear path toward your largest financial goal, life can feel a little lighter.

Retirement readiness is something we touch on in every planning meeting. We use sophisticated tools to determine how your future lifestyle may look and the impact specific decisions can have on that future.

This focused attention transforms unknowns about this massive financial goal into month-by-month, year-by-year activities that can give you confidence in your trajectory.

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Our team

Michael Paulus

I started my financial advising practice in 2011, and I have loved spending every day since helping clients grow in confidence and take back their time as their finances come into alignment.

Creating balance for my clients has become increasingly important in my process, as I strive for this in my own life as well.

After years of travel and adventure, I moved to Salt Lake City a few years ago to experience all the skiing I can. My client base spans multiple states and I run an entirely virtual practice.

Life right now involves spending time on the mountains with my family whenever possible, hiking with our baby and making sure she explores the outdoors better than she navigates a screen.

Meet with Michael

Becky Zimmer headshotRebecca Zimmer

Senior Practice Coordinator

Becky has been supporting me and my clients since 2015.

Day to day, she keeps things moving within the practice, and an alternative title for her is Chief Accountability Officer.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and getting outside when the Minnesota weather allows.

Registered Representative of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC.


Connor Gallagher

Client Services Assistant

Resource team

We coordinate with planning, investments, and insurance specialists at North Star to provide you a high-level of service and expertise.

Chase Brakke, DIA, DIF, CEPA®
Chase Brakke, DIA, DIF, CEPA®

Vice President of Business Owner Solutions

Chris Sitek, CLTC®, CASL®, CLU®, ChFC®, RHU®, REBC®
Chris Sitek, CLTC®, CASL®, CLU®, ChFC®, RHU®, REBC®

Vice President Life and Long-Term Care

Jeff Landt, CFA, CFP®
Jeff Landt, CFA, CFP®

Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer


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    Salt Lake City

    3115 E Lion Lane
    Suite 160
    Salt Lake City, UT 84121


    Investment advisor representative of Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC. Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC (doing insurance business in CA as CFGAN Insurance Agency LLC, CA Insurance Lic # 0644976), member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC, a registered investment adviser. Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. CA Insurance License #0J07503.